This summer, I completed a six-week AIESEC Global Citizen Program and taught kindergarten kids English in Münster, Germany. What I did was basically played games with kids in English, told stories, and created an English-learning atmosphere in class. The language barrier was definitely the biggest culture shock for me. Without understanding any German, I needed to find a way to communicate with the kids and integrate myself into the culture . But that situation actually encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and learn how to communicate with different types of audiences. The best way to improve our communication and interpersonal skills is to actually put ourselves into the most difficult and stressful situations. It was those experiences that made me become more confident to talk to different people and even strangers.
As a commerce student, I would have never imagined that I could teach in a different country. I’ve gained so many new perspectives and even explored my own potential during the exchange. Before going on exchange, I saw myself as a specialist in terms of finance and investments, sitting in an office, and dealing with different customers after graduating. But now, I would say I really see myself as a part-time traveler, or more accurately, a world explorer. After the exchange, I realized that life is full of hidden treasures and that I should seek adventure and enjoy the wonders of the world. But at the same time, I will trade stocks and do investments, or maybe even some street singing performance to make money for travelling. AIESEC is absolutely the best platform for my dream life. “Living diversity” is my favourite AIESEC value and this actually motivates my life.
One fun fact of my exchange is that Münster is a bicycle-friendly city, so the most popular way of transportation is by bike. As a person who lacks a sense of balance, I failed to bike before going to Münster. People were all shocked of the fact that I couldn’t bike because in their culture, kids learn how to bike when they are three. In order to adapt to the new culture, I pushed myself to learn biking as an adult now. With the help of other interns, AIESEC members, and my host family, I eventually overcame my fear and biked by myself.
Maybe it’s hard for you to understand that, but I have to admit that I wasn’t a risky person before my exchange. My AIESEC exchange experience completely changed me into a more adventurous and confident person. It helped me develop personally. Today, I have now grown into a brave girl who traveled around Europe alone for two months after my exchange. An adventurous girl who rode a horse on the road with cars passing by, bungee jumping, and even skydiving. An open- minded girl who kept meeting new friends who weren’t her age, whose first languages weren’t the same as hers, who shared different experiences and perspectives about the world. One thing that I’m pretty sure of now is that I have become a better version of myself.
“Your 20’s are your selfish years. Be selfish with your time – travel, explore, fall in and out of love, be brave and wild.” Hope everyone can be your 20-something.